Spirit of Schmeichel helps Brown soar

Manchester United fan Mike Brown has revealed his spectacular diving catch in England’s 13-10 Six Nations victory over Ireland was inspired by Peter Schmeichel.

Brown plucked a low kick by Brian O’Driscoll from the air in a remarkable display of athleticism described by Ireland’s head coach Joe Schmidt as the game’s defensive highlight.

The 28-year-old, who was named man of the match for a second successive game, has revealed his goalkeeping skills were honed in a drill performed with Harlequins team-mate and Liverpool fan Danny Care.

“Myself and Danny play a game when we are warming up at Quins,” Brown said.

“We call it Schmeichel, after the great Peter Schmeichel, where we just blast balls at each other to see if we can save them.

“I’m the last line of defence. I have to do everything I can to make sure the ball doesn’t go behind me because I know we’re in a bit of strife if it does.”

Brown was outstanding with his tenacity and running in broken field carrying the fight to Ireland time and again.

The full-back was the player of the QBE Internationals last autumn, but his growing influence in attack has lifted his involvement to a new level.

“Mike brings another string to our bow attack-wise. His ability to beat the first defender is exceptional. He did it from minute one against Ireland,” head coach Stuart Lancaster said. “Now he’s also a bigger attacking threat in the final third. He’s always secure under the high ball and is the last line of defence.

Brown refuses to get carried away with his success, though.

“Maybe when we win the World Cup I’ll be slightly pleased,” he said.


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